Voice of the fans key at Bristol
It's always busy here at Bristol. From hosting events year-round on the high-banked concrete of Bristol Motor Speedway and the quarter-mile strip at Thunder Valley to planning the next ones, it never slows down.
But one thing we've learned over the years is that we cannot be too busy to listen. It's a philosophy and practice instilled in the Bristol culture, thanks large in part to our former general manager, the late Jeff Byrd.
Back in 2005, I pitched an idea to Jeff. It wasn't a new idea, as it was being practiced across a variety of sports. In fact, I acquired the idea from the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies.
What was the idea?
Let's assemble a group of fans with which we can consistently communicate. Let's listen to their ideas, comments, suggestions and their constructive criticism. Let's bounce our ideas off them to see of they do indeed make sense. Let's utilize the knowledge we gain to better the Bristol Experience.
The idea received buy-in here in the offices of the Bruton Smith Building. In 2006 we launched the Bristol Motor Speedway Fan Advisory Board, becoming the first NASCAR venue to do so - and it's been going strong ever since.
Via online communication, monthly conference calls and annual meetings, the Fan Advisory Board targets visible issues, identifies challenges and presents ideas to enhance and better the "Bristol Experience."
In order to ensure a constructive working advisory board, membership is limited. The board is comprised of 30-40 Bristol fans, consisting of a demographic cross-section of individuals.
Correspondence and meetings include Bristol senior level management to ensure action items are fulfilled and executed in the vision of the board. Board members serve a "rotational" term that includes three NASCAR race weekends at Bristol Motor Speedway.
And speaking of terms, we now are in the process of taking applications for the 2014-15 edition of the Bristol Motor Speedway Fan Advisory Board.
Bristol fans interested in becoming part of the Fan Advisory Board can apply online. New Fan Advisory Board members will be announced in January 2014.
But always remember, our guests do not have to be part of the Fan Advisory Board to share ideas and input. We encourage all to feel free to contact us via email or by phone (423.989.6900) anytime.
After all, we cannot be too busy listen - especially when it comes to our fans.
VP, Ticketing & Guest Relations